Christelle du Toit
2 minute read
17 Dec 2020
10:01 am

WATCH: The impact of beach closures in PE hits home for residents

Christelle du Toit

'This has been a hell of a year. Livelihoods are at stake. Bookings are being canceled as we speak.'

Following the decision to close all beaches in Nelson MandelaBay, residents have taken to social media to share the devastating impact of the decision. Picture: EPA-EFE/Javier Etxezarreta

Following the decision to close all beaches in Nelson Mandela Bay, residents have taken to social media to share the devastating impact of the decision.

President Cyril Ramaphosa delivered a grim message on Monday, warning South Africans that unless they change their behaviour going into the festive season, this could be the last Christmas many will ever celebrate.

“Unless we do things differently, this will be the last Christmas for many South Africans,” Ramaphosa warned, before announcing the latest set of measures meant to curb the spread of the virus.

After declaring Nelson Mandela Bay a Covid-19 hotspot at the beginning of December, the Eastern Cape’s Sarah Baartman district, as well as the Garden Route in the Western Cape, were added to the list, with the same emergency measures being effective for both as of midnight on Monday evening.

ALSO READ: These are the beaches that will be closed over the festive season

While the beach closures are heading to court, some residents spoke out.

Facebook user Nina Beaufort posted a video of Kings Beach in Port Elizabeth, saying: “I feel compelled to speak out.”

“I represent hundreds of small businesses on the Sunshine Coast,” said Beaufort.

“All of these little towns rely on the summer season for a much-needed cash injection to get them through the rest of the year when it is quiet.

“This has been a hell of a year. Livelihoods are at stake. Bookings are being canceled as we speak.”

Beaufort said the court action challenging the beach closures might be too late.

“Jobs are going to be lost, businesses are going to close. It doesn’t make any sense.”

Beaufort made a plea for people to assist with ideas over how to respond to the situation.

“Never have I felt like breaking the law more than right now,” she said but added “please let’s band together”.

“We will follow the rules to keep people safe and beat this virus ultimately, but please, please, please, this is ludicrous.”

Watch the emotive video below.

 

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